Media Reform

The Media Reform program seeks to preserve the freedom and independence of Israeli media in the face of growing stresses on the business model of traditional journalism and mounting pressures from government regulators and special interests. It is guided by the belief that an independent press is essential to a vibrant democracy and an engaged and informed civil society. The team works to advise policymakers and opinion shapers on these issues, shape new media regulations, and promote a code of journalistic ethics for the age of digital media.

Recent efforts have been directed at helping officials design Israel's new broadcasting authority, reforming Israel's censorship regulations, developing a new code of journalistic ethics for the information age and proposing measures to boost transparency and limit subliminal advertising.

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    Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler


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    A board member of the National Press Council and lecturer at the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University. She is a former head of the research department at the Israeli Second Authority for Television and Radio, a former research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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    Dr. Guy Lurie


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    Dr. Guy Lurie is a lawyer and received his PhD in History from Georgetown University (2013). Dr. Lurie is a former coordinator of the Shamgar Commission for the Formulation of Rules of Ethics for Members of the Government, and served as a post-doctoral fellow on the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa.

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    Rachel Aridor-Hershkovitz


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    Adv. Rachel Aridor Hershkovitz is a researcher in the Israel Democracy Institute’s Media Reform program and a research fellow at the Haifa Center for Law and Technology at the University of Haifa.

In Israel, we talk a lot about innovation. But what does the term really mean?

Elor Azaria’s case shows how online pressure by extremist voices can swiftly go viral in the Israeli mainstream, forcing politicians to choose: Play catch up or resist, but at great personal cost.

Ahead of a recent discussion by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on the “Facebook Bill,” IDI’s Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler wrote a policy statement in which she called the bill non-applicable to the modern day. She said the bill is likely to cause disproportionate censorship through what will be dysfunctional legal proceedings.

When a sizable portion of our decision-makers have that difficulty, and “digital illiteracy” becomes evident in the upper echelons where decisions are made, we’ve got a problem. This article was first published by The Jerusalem Post.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler says rejoicing over the death of television and the birth of “intervision” is premature. This column was originally published by Times of Israel.

The Oscar award-winning “Spotlight” captures the mix of frustration, joy, drudgery and thrill that goes into every great investigative story, reminding viewers of the power of investigative journalism to reveal the abuse of power in the public and private sectors. Could the Pulitzer-prize winning work of the Boston Globe be replicated today?

While in Israel there is no formal constitution, freedom of expression is inherent in our Basic Laws. Yet a recent episode between the Israeli government and the foreign press placed Israel in a problematic light and was neither democratic nor right.

How long will we continue to recite the mantra that “technology cannot be stopped?” To what extent will we take a stand and cease to permit bad social engineering? This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.

Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler reminds us that the media is the cement that holds the stones of democracy together. As the arbiter of reality, the purpose of the media is to show us, the citizens, what is going on around us. To the same extent, it is also supposed to reflect our feelings and our level of trust in the decision-makers and representatives whom we elect to govern us.

A summary of a legal opinion opposing the "Law for the Advancement and Protection of Print Journalism in Israel," which would prohibit the distribution of a full-sized daily newspaper in Israel free of charge.

IDI Researcher Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler analyzes a Supreme Court ruling that recalled a book and struck a balance between the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression, and discusses larger questions of privacy in the digital age.

As Israel prays for the safe return of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of IDI's Media Reform project, shares thoughts on the use of gag orders and military censorship in the digital age.

In a fiery op-ed, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler responds to charges of bias and lays out IDI's pro-active agenda in favor of media diversity and transparency and its efforts to save the <em>Makor Rishon</em>  newspaper. 

On May 30th, 2012 Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced his intention to indict <em>Haaretz</em> journalist Uri Blau on charges of aggravated espionage for his role in the Anat Kamm affair. IDI Senior Researcher Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of the Institute's Media Reform Project, responds to this decision.

IDI hosts a timely workshop that examines the connection between advances in digital technology, development and dissemination of media content, good government and the future viability of Israel's democracy.

  • Participation by invitation only

No one disagrees that social networks are a central and important platform that tremendously increases our freedom of expression – both in our ability to express our own views and in our access to consumer information. However, concurrently, we are uncovering some disadvantages of these platforms.

  • Participation by invitation only

Co-sponsored by Jerusalem Center for Ethics and Tzohar Academic direction by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the ethics and religion department at the Jerusalem Center for Ethics and the head of the ethics division of Tzohar Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of the Media Ethics Program at the Israel Democracy Institute With participation by MK Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset

  • Open to the public

A roundtable on embargoes and exclusives

  • Live
  • Hebrew
  • Open to the public

As the turbulent tenure of the State Comptroller, Justice (Emeritus) Micha Lindenstrauss, neared its conclusion, IDI's George Shultz Roundtable Forum convened to discuss the role of the State Comptroller and the desired nature of the state audit.

  • Open to the public